A Faith Problem

Several years ago, I was chatting with my friend Big Donnie. He asked me if I was going to be taking a group on a vacation to Deer Island that summer. At the time I had no idea of where the finances would come from to do this again. I shared my concerns and got no sympathy at all! I still can picture Donnie poking his huge forefinger at me and proclaiming definitively, “You don’t have a money problem! You have a faith problem!”. He reached in his pocket and took out his sole twenty-dollar bill and handed to me telling me this would get me started.

About a dozen of us went on a vacation together that summer and God supplied all our needs! I believe I learned something that summer and through Donnie, that continues to stand me in good stead today. I have been asked how I plan to pay for renovations and maintenance of our Threshold House project. I have been asked if I lose sleep over the rising tide of costs. Usually I say “I sleep like a baby. Two hours at a time and I wake up crying!” but that is not true. I can toss and turn about other issues, but I do not worry about money. I have experienced the truth of Donnie’s rebuke. It stung at the time, but I came to repent. I now believe that what God orders He will pay for! My big task is to make sure that the expense is at God’s prompting. When I am confident about that then I do two things: I do my best, and I trust in God.

Plumber, contractors, alarm companies, materials all pile up the bills. Fire Marshalls edicts bring further unexpected requests. A poorly constructed building has additional maintenance issues. There have been any number of issues to slow down our launch. Even with all this we look to God and His people to meet the challenges of the day.

I believe we received real confirmation about our project when we were able to fill the role of Night-time Pastor. Maurice Legere comes with a wealth of experience in working with those struggling with addiction. He also comes to us after a stint with Operation Mobilization and its evangelistic ministry around the globe. We can not imagine a better qualified candidate. This is an answer to our prayers! This is evidence, to me. That God is at work! I continue to recall Philippians 1:6 “I am confident of this very thing that He who began a good work in you will bring it to conclusion, in the day of Christ Jesus.”

If you are ‘stirred’ to help you can make an e-transfer to financial@thresholdministries.ca adding “Threshold House” in the memo, or send a cheque to Threshold Ministries at 105 Mountain View Dr. Saint John NB E2J 5B5 adding “Threshold House” in the memo, or using Canada Helps.


It Is All About Legacy

At a worship service, recently, we were asked to think about those who have made an impact on our lives, realizing that we are a part of their ‘legacy’. Now for some a legacy is a financial gift, and these kinds of donations have been a true blessing to churches and society as a whole, but a lasting legacy is our impact on others. This will ripple out and out. It is our means of finding lasting significance.

Looking back, I identify many who impacted my life for good or ill. The sum of these experiences and my choices have made me who I am today. I remember teachers who made me love learning and I recall others who made me ‘hate’ school’. The lifelong struggle with temper is a family legacy.

Spiritual life was impacted by selfless Sunday School teachers. The whole culture of Church Army training has left an indelible mark. Living in community and the unfamiliar diet and hours, set me in a faith immersion setting like no other. Here I was formed!

Later I had some great role models. Capt. T and Albert Knight were two that had lasting impact. I also had a multitude of authors who helped shape me. I have just been rereading Spurgeon’s ‘Treasury of David’ and giving thanks for my long journey with him.

Biblical characters have leaped off the page and become mentors to me. Philip the Evangelist, Gideon, David etc.

Some who have most shaped me in recent years are, paradoxically, those I feel called to serve. I think I began, many years ago, by attempting to see Christ in these folks. In Matthew Jesus says as we serve the least we are serving him. Since I have come to see this a self focussed exercise. The goal was for me to selfishly encounter Jesus. This objectified my friends. Instead, now I look to really see my friend and their worth and in doing so I see Christ in them. They are transformed in my sight, and I glimpse them as they truly are and pale icons of what they will one day be!

I hope I am not through being formed. I hope that I might yet be a part of someone’s legacy. But I am keenly aware of my own legacy. I am aware that I am much closer to the end of my ministry than to the middle. If I am to increase my ‘legacy’ it will be by helping others grow theirs. Even as I engage in starting our new project I am aware that it will not be mine for long. At this stage the idea of equipping others is less academic and more practical. I wish I had this attitude when I was younger. Mark Twain was right “youth is wasted on the young”. I’m reminded of the plaque I would see in my Mennonite friend’s home “We are too soon old and too late smart!”, but better late than never!

The key goal of Threshold House is to help people to advance in their own lives and impact on the world. It is all about legacy.

Morris Legere has accepted the position of House Pastor. He is currently seeking daytime employment but is trusting God.

We have our first core member lined up and I will be interviewing another next week. Our renovations are moving slowly but surely and we will soon begin our community experience. I believe these guys will have an impact on me and I on them, “As iron sharpens iron” It is all about Legacy!

Progress & Regress A Journey with God

Having just proposed a new project before this pandemic I have been keenly reminded that “things never go as planned”. A week does not go by that I am not asked how my ‘stalled’ project is coming along. I have developed (unwillingly)some serious patience muscles.

This week we made some significant progress. Though I will not make my Labour Day Deadline for opening, the day of beginning is not far off!

We have our Night-time pastoral care supervisor in place. We will be unfolding more about him in the future, but he is extremely well qualified. I did not want to book residents until we had this in place, and we could confidently accommodate them, but we also have our first resident lined up. We plan (hope) that both will be able to move in by the end of the month.

The goal is that each resident will live with us in Christian Community and that over the course of a year (The Favourable Year of the Lord) that we will provide a continuing network of support and solid discipleship enabling these men who have discovered hope to effectively bring hope to others.

Before these fellows can move in there are some practical renovations to be completed. We are praising the lord that all the plumbing has been now completed! This has include changing all the ‘water supply’ plumbing and the plumbing changes necessary to prepare for the installation of two showers and a washer dryer.

I had thought (planned) that the installation of these showers and other preparations would have been done this week, however our contractor Andy’s wife was rushed to hospital where she had some emergency surgery. So, things are a bit up in the air for Andy and us. We are deeply in prayer for Andy and his bride at this time.

After consulting with numerous people for many months I decided to go ahead and create new signage for Threshold House. These have been made by a local company and our good friend Rob Pitman is going to frame them and ready them for installation. There will be two signs set up in a < shape, so as to be seen from both direction. Again, this did not come off without a snag. Five minutes after the signs were printed I suddenly realised that there was an apostrophe missing (the lesson here is when you are married to a proof-reader let her proofread!). I quickly called to find I was too late. The printers were able to add an apostrophe to the already done signs and tragedy was averted.

My latest plan (will I never learn?) is to host some kind of outdoor gathering around the signs. I also plan to launch introductions of both our Night-time pastor and our first resident in the very near future.

It does feel good to have some momentum, even if it is a bit staggered. I have never lost confidence that God was in this but the progress has been torturously slow and even now I would like to push things along more quickly. God’s time is perfect and I must learn to be content. He is good!